Jennifer Nettles tells country music to 'play our f****n records' with major fashion statement at CMA Awards

Jennifer Nettles hit the red carpet at the 2019 CMA Awards with a fierce message for country radio: Play songs by women, thank you very much.

One half of the country duo Sugarland, Nettles donned a white pantsuit adorned with the Venus gender symbol in black writing, but it was the hot pink cape attached to the look that is set to make headlines around the 53rd annual CMA Awards: On it, the words, "Play our f*@#!n records. Please & thank you," were written in the same black ink, and the phrase, "equal pay," was written on her back.

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Jennifer Nettles at the 2019 CMA Awards
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Jennifer Nettles at the 2019 CMA Awards
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 13: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Jennifer Nettles attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 13: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Jennifer Nettles attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 13: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Jennifer Nettles attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 13: (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission with alternate crop.) (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Jennifer Nettles attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 13: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Jennifer Nettles attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 13: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Jennifer Nettles attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 13: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Jennifer Nettles attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
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The message on the "Stuck Like Glue" hitmaker's ensemble represented a rare callout of country radio by a high-profile star on the genre's biggest night, alluding to the format's historic and often written about reluctance to play music by women. 

According to a recent report from 2017, just 10.4 percent of music played on country radio is made by women, despite the surplus of female stars that are some of the biggest names in the entire genre, like Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini and Kacey Musgraves, whose third album, "Golden Hour," won Album of the Year at this year's Grammys.

In fact, the lack of women on country airwaves has actually been decreasing in recent years, and Nettles' political fashion statement comes four years after the infamous "Tomato-gate" rocked Nashville: Back in 2015, prominent radio consultant Keith Hill compared playing music made by female artists to putting tomatoes in a salad, saying, "If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out. I play great female records ... they're just not the lettuce in our salad. The lettuce is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and artists like that. The tomatoes of our salad are the females."

Making the statement at the CMA Awards, which is the most important awards show in country music, also served as a reminder of the ceremony's known history of recognizing male musicians disproportionately more than female artists: In the past 20 years, the show's biggest award, Entertainer of the Year, has only gone to women on four occasions: Shania Twain in 1999, Dixie Chicks in 2000 and Taylor Swift in 2009 and 2011. Since 2015, only three of the category's 25 nomination slots have gone to women: Two for Miranda Lambert and one for Carrie Underwood, who is the only woman nominated this year.

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CMA Awards 2019: Red carpet arrivals
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CMA Awards 2019: Red carpet arrivals
Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Carrie Underwood attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Dolly Parton attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Reba McEntire attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Kacey Musgraves attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Nicole Kidman attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Miranda Lambert attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Brendan Mcloughlin and Miranda Lambert attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Reese Witherspoon attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 13: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Jennifer Nettles attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 13: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Jennifer Nettles attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Kelsea Ballerini attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Maren Morris attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
P!nk attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Martina McBride attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Gigi Hadid attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Lil Nas X attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Randy Travis and Mary Davis attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Jessie James Decker attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Willa Gray Akins, Thomas Rhett, Ada James Akins and Lauren Akins attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Halsey attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Kristin Chenoweth attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Sheryl Crow attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Chris Lane and Lauren Bushnell attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Mitchell Tenpenny attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Jimi Westbrook, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet of Little Big Town attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Sara Evans attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney of Dan + Shay attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Carly Pearce attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Hannah Brown attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Hannah Brown(L) and Alan Bersten attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
\RaeLynn attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 13: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Brandi Carlile attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Ryan Hurd attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Maren Morris, Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile and Natalie Hemby of The Highwomen attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Bobby Bones attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye of Maddie & Tae attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Dustin Lynch attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Scotty McCreery attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Tanya Tucker attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Danielle Bradbery attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Colbie Caillat of Gone West attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Michael Ray attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Tenille Townes attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Mickey Guyton attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Joel Smallbone and Luke Smallbone of For King & Country attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Russell Dickerson attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Angie K attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
AJ McLean attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Gabi Dugal and Scotty McCreery attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Dierks Bentley and Cassidy Black attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Hannah Mulholland, Naomi Cooke and Jennifer Wayne of Runaway June attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Tyler Rich attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Jim Gaffigan attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Amanda Shires of The Highwomen attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Jason Reeves, Danelle Leverett, Justin Young and Colbie Caillat of Gone West attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Jimmie Allen attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Cassie DiLaura attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Kylie Morgan attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Travis Denning attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Gabby Barrett attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Jordan Davis attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Rachel Wammack attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Crystal Gayle attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Morgan Evans and Kelsea Ballerini attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Walker Hayes and Laney Beville Hayes attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Anthony Olympia and Brent Rupard of Everette attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Matt Stell attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Lindsay Ell attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Jake Owen and Erica Hartlein attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Morgan Wallen attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Amber Cochran and Brantley Gilbert attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Jameson Hart, Willow Hart, P!nk and Carey Hart attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
Presenter Pam Tillis attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
]Blanco Brown attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage,)
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